Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick Update

I am going to keep this short because I am tired. I decided to post this final update for the night (God Willing) via the Blog since not everyone is on Facebook and I know a lot of people have grown to love and care for Chad and his well being.

I mentioned a few days ago that Chad was having neck spasms that began last Saturday. We started off by going to the Chiropractor and then a local doctor (To avoid going all the way to Marion to the VA hospital) We did all the treatments they suggested as well as the doctor prescribed muscle relaxants. He had a few decent moments but unfortunately it didn't last and the spasms returned with a vengeance. Chad has been off work since Tuesday and was supposed to return tomorrow - so I gently suggested that we had to go to Marion, to the ER because it's been eight days and there's not enough improvement. We knew an X-Ray was the next step in the equation and the local VA clinic cannot perform those. 

Today, we went to the ER. It took way too long and very little was done. They did run an X-Ray which showed nothing. So the next step is the ER doctor will forward his recommendations to our local doctor - which is physical therapy and an MRI. We are going to try and get in to see Chad's primary physician tomorrow but hopefully they schedule the MRI sooner, rather than later.

The doctor did prescribe him an anti-inflammatory and a steroid which is supposed to help with the spasms. God willing the man gets some relief tonight. 

The pain he was in was absolutely excruciating for me to watch. As a 'care-giver', seeing someone you love more than life itself, go through such pain and there is not a damn thing you can do. It's horrible. I annoyed myself because all I could do was hold his hand, remind him to breath and try to distract him from the pain in an effort to get him to relax.

Thank-You again to everyone who offered prayers, positive vibes and encouragement. I honestly don't know how I would get through days like today without you guys to lean on.

Much Love,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It Never Ends...

As if cancer wasn't enough.  As if a mini-stroke wasn't enough. As if a sinus infection from hell wasn't enough. As if never-ending abdominal cramping, bloating and weird pains wasn't enough. Let's throw in severe muscle spams to the mix just to keep things exciting.

Chad started having muscle spasms Saturday night. He has worked as a painter for 20-odd years, so he is no stranger to having neck and shoulder pain - but these spasms were new and took it to a new level. He suffered through the weekend, not wanting to make the drive all the way to Illinois to the VA hospital. On Monday, he went to his trusted chiropractor for an adjustment and it helped a slight bit but by the time he got home he was stiff and sore and some spasms were resuming.

Tuesday, he again went to work but by 11 AM I had to go get him because the spasms were so bad and pain so severe he was getting nauseous. When I seen how much pain he was in, I braced myself for a trip to the ER but instead we took him to a doctor in town. This isn't covered by the VA but she's close and Chad likes her. She's actually not even a doctor but one of those fancy RN's who can prescribe medication. She gave Chad a couple shots and a prescription for a muscle relaxer.

I brought him home and then got his prescription. By the time he was settled and laying down we only had 45 minutes until his next chiropractor appointment. That actually went very well and Chad felt relaxed for the first time since Saturday. He was getting a bit stiff last night and in a little pain but nothing too bad. I was hopeful.

Until he woke up this morning and the spasms are back in full force. :( Every night before bed I thank God for another day. I pray for continued support and guidance and to make Chad better, just a little bit, as each day passes - and of course my biggest prayer is that his cancer never, ever comes back.

And I am thankful. I am so grateful. I am also tired. I am also so, very tired. It's emotionally draining to always, always be worrying and never being able to make things better.

He is icing his shoulder now and has taken the medication for spasms. He doesn't see the chiropractor again until Friday. He was ordered off work until next week. God willing this storm does pass. And sooner rather than later.

His endoscopy is still scheduled for February 3rd. I hope they don't find anything but I still stress about what is causing his issues. Sigh. Like I said.. it never ends.

I want to thank you all for your continued Love and Support. It means the world to us. xo

Monday, January 18, 2016

Endo - nope?

Today, Chad was to travel to Tennessee for his endoscopy. As suspected, it turned out just to be a consult. Which is complete silliness since the same doctor seen him, not too long ago, for the colonoscopy. Red tape. You know how it is.

His actual scope is now scheduled for February 3rd. The doctor suggested it may be IBS. Chad said "I would love for that to be the case but I want to be sure. Last time they told me I had IBS for two years and it ended up being cancer"

Like sand through the hour glass .... 

Things are pretty much the same. Same discomfort, same cramping, same pain. The abdominal belt I told you all about did arrive and Chad has worn it but it's hard to say if it does anything. When asked he said it 'doesn't hurt'.  Meaning, it doesn't cause him additional pain but whether it is doing more for him - I have no idea. 

He has a worrisome mole on his side. A call will be made to his oncologist to see about seeing the Skin Cancer specialist we had seen previously. Better safe than sorry, right? Right.  

I appreciate all of you out there who read this and still check in! It amazes me when I have people contact me asking for another blog update lol We love you guys! xo Thank you for your support!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 7, 2015

I have been writing a lot lately and the reason is probably obvious. This time last year was life-changing. Up until this point, we didn't quite realize what we were in for...

However, shortly after 5 PM on January 7th, 2015 Chad was given some absolutely terrifying news that would change his life forever. He was diagnosed with appendix cancer. Dr. Swain didn't know much about it so he did research on it before delivering the pathology. It was rare and the kind he had was very aggressive. He wouldn't give us time lines, partly because I assume he didn't know (because there was SO much unknown at that time about whether it spread or not) and partly because he didn't want to scare us.

I will NEVER forgot that moment. I will remember the look on his face and on Chad's face until the day I die. I could only hear half of what he was saying and my mind was racing a million miles a minute. I remember asking questions, even asking if there's a chance the pathologist was wrong. (Wow, wasn't that naive) I remember when he left the room, holding Chad's hand as tears quietly found their way out of his eyes. I remember feeling numb but calm. I never once questioned if he would survive this. I remember leaning in and saying to him "I waited my entire life to find you, I am not going to lose you yet"

I didn't go home that night to shower like I had the nights before. I couldn't face Haven. Instead I went to the Chapel .. I put it in God's hands. He carried us and continues to carry us.

Last night was a strange night. We went to dinner with a couple of friends to celebrate Chad's fight against cancer. And then we went to a viewing to pay our condolences to our Preacher whose sister passed away ... from cancer. Chad met her briefly once. I had never had the pleasure. One thing is for certain though - from the amount of people who showed up - she and her family are very, very, very loved. Our thoughts, prayers, love and respect go out to Josh and his family.

Today? Today is another day. Another blessing. Another chance to prove ourselves worthy of this life God has given us. Embrace it. Cherish it, Make it count. Surround yourself with those you love and love them fiercely. There is no promise they will be there tomorrow. Never miss an opportunity to show someone how much they mean to you. Don't save the 'I Love You's' for another day. Because tomorrow they may be gone and will never hear them.

Today is the day worth living for.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, Dr. Swain came out to the hospital waiting room to tell me that Chad's surgery was a success. He was able to remove the gallbladder and the appendix without incident and Chad was in recovery. He said there was a cyst on Chad's appendix but he didn't think it was anything to be concerned about.

By the evening, Chad was enjoying a liquid meal watching the Cats play on television. It wasn't until the following day that our lives would change forever.

Chad was one of the 'lucky' unlucky ones. This surgery actually did remove all the cancer from his body. The surgery he had a couple months later was still necessary for a number of reasons but today - officially - marks one year that Chad is cancer free.

May God continue to watch over him, help him heal and please... please... don't ever let cancer enter his body again.

Many, many continued thanks for your love, prayers and support.

We love you all

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Had We Only Known....

This photo was taken on January 5th, 2015. The kids were being creative and having fun with the hospital items.  Chad had a bunch of tests taken this day and his surgery was scheduled for the following day. The doctors decided they would remove his gallbladder because it was only functioning at 12%. The doctor was also considering taking out his appendix because it looked 'murky'. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's A New Year - A New Day!

Focusing on Chad's health, this holiday season has been so-so. Nothing much has improved and he's had some other health things to deal with but I won't get into those because I don't know if he'd want me to and we don't know what it even is. Just weird pain, non-surgery related (I assume).

We had a nice Christmas Eve and Christmas day surrounded by family. The kids enjoyed their presents and the food was great! Chad is a wonderful cook so his Christmas Eve meal was amazing. And his mother is also a wonderful cook, so we had a delicious feast on Christmas Day at her house.

Chad, Haven and I brought in the new year sipping champagne and watching various balls drop across the country. Or the same ball drop, several times I guess! Thanks to the local stations for NOT putting Nashville's celebration on television - that was awesome (sarcasm).

Chad's endoscopy is scheduled for January 18th.  (In Paris, TN - the same place he had his colonoscopy) While I hope they do not find any cancer, I wish someone could come up with some explanation (and fix) to help him with his stomach issues. I posted to my beloved Support Group (sometimes I don't know how I'd have gotten through this past year without those people) and surprisingly, there were quite a few people who experience the same things as Chad. Unfortunately, no one (them or their doctors) had much to say about correcting it. One gentleman who's symptoms almost exactly match Chad's suggested a Support Girdle/Belt, so I have ordered him one to see if it helps. That should arrive sometime next week so I will let you know!

We've tried all sorts of things such as teas and herbs and other random things people suggested but nothing has really made any impact unfortunately. While I personally found comfort in the fact that he isn't such an oddity and other people are going through this as well, it didn't do much for him because he still feels like crap.  Which is absolutely understandable. I feel terrible asking for continues prayers sometimes because God's already blessed us so much. My biggest prayer of all and forever will be - that his cancer never returns. I pray for that every. single. night and I will until the day I leave this earth. Even if Chad and I end up on opposite sides of the world, my biggest prayer of all to God is that his cancer never comes back.

But I can't pretend I don't also hope for a little improvement. Day by day. Just to help Chad feel a little more like his old self. Correction. I want him to be a better version of his old self. To take the lessons and blessings that have been bestowed upon us in 2015 and use them to create a stronger love, bond and family unit than ever before.

From our family to yours -  I hope this year finds you surrounded by love, hope and good health! Thank you, as always, for your continued support and prayers.